Review: Imogen Cooper at Wigmore Hall

Pianist Imogen Cooper painted evocative sound pictures in a BBC Radio 3 lunchtime recital featuring music by Debussy, Beethoven and Chopin. Read my review for here.



    • It was indeed a wonderful recital. The Debussy playing was some of the most evocative and generally best I have heard for a long time. The Beethoven was totally commanding, and in particular the third movement which, after the vivid contrasts of the first and the serenity of the second, can sometimes disappoint and feel a bit anticlimactic, really came to life. I had never heard Imogen Cooper playing Chopin before, but her performances of the exquisite D flat Nocturne (my very favourite piece of music) and the F minor Ballade were lyrical and dramatic as required, in perfect balance. My only reservation (and so my only slight disagreement with your review) was the encore, the Chopin “Black Key” Study, which was for my ear was not sufficiently fleet and “brillante”.

      Unfortunately the BBC did not have time to broadcast the encore, so direct listening comparisons are not possible, but this performance by an unidentified pianist may illustrate what I mean (but ignore the excessively long pause on the last note!


      But overall it was a great hour of music and pianism.

      • Thank you, Philip. I agree about the Debussy – really sublime. It compared very favourably with Pollini’s performance of a selection from Book 1 Preludes, which I heard the previous week. The Chopin Etude was a touch heavy-handed, especially in the bass.

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